Wellington Paranormal, a comedy about police chasing down supernatural interlopers in the New Zealand capital, starts on The CW July 11. It is a spinoff of vampire comedy film What We Do in the Shadows.
Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi executive produce the show with Paul Yates.
Episodes stream on HBO Max a day after their broadcast premiere. Wellington Paranormal represents the first co-acquisition between The CW and HBO Max.
Karen O’Leary and Mike Minogue, who both played police officers in the What We Do in the Shadows movie, reprise their roles as cops in the Wellington constabulary’s paranormal unit, run by Sergeant Maaka (played by Maaka Pohatu).
Clement and Waititi directed the What We Do in the Shadows movie, which came out in 2014.
Clement got into the supernatural as a kid. At a press event, he spoke about being four or five and watching a scene on TV where a bat flies into a castle and drops blood on a skeleton, which forms into actor Christopher Lee. “I found it so weird and amazing,” he said. “And I had nightmares about vampires all through my childhood, so I was thinking about it for a long time before we made the movie. But also I would find them funny and watch any vampire movie.”
O’Leary was a kindergarten teacher before acting in What We Do in the Shadows. A student’s parent was the casting director and asked her to audition.
O’Leary said people enjoy watching things they don’t really understand. “Not knowing why something exists or how it exists, I think people find that intriguing,” she said.
Season three of What We Do in the Shadows, about vampires getting by in Staten Island, is on FX Sept. 2. The show was a finalist for the best comedy Emmy last year.
Waititi also directed the hit film Jojo Rabbit.
Wellington Paranormal is produced by The New Zealand Documentary Board. Three seasons have aired in New Zealand.
Clement said Wellington Paranormal “definitely wouldn’t exist without The X-Files.”
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.